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Civil Society On The Rise: In Search Of Global Impact

1534 words - 6 pages

Introduction

Globalization process highly contributed to the global market’s increased activity and partially its integration. There is however a question if globalization helped by the distribution of democracy. I am afraid many people would answer negatively. Thus, is the concentration of global capital mainly in the northern hemisphere positively influencing democracy? Civil society has a task to advocate and protect democracy in the globalization era, especially in regard to the global management and redistribution of the profits of globalization and mollifying its drawbacks. There are also opinions, among others by an American John Cavanagh from the Institute of Policy Studies and Martin Khor, a Research Director of Third World Network in Penang, Malaysia – that in the 21st century there will be a comeback to the brutal capitalism of the 19th century, and that the globalization achieved a destruction of the nation states’ power . Moreover, as argued by Riva Krut, the fate of democracy is not any more in the hands of national states, but rather civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) .

The role and significance of civil society in the globalization era

It should be remembered that civil society is not expected to replace governments, or any commercial market institutions. It is supposed to create the so called third sector which builds a functioning society that has a right to observe the implementation of public policy and preserve the transparency of governance. Civil society was defined by London School of Economic Center for Civil Society as following: Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil societies are often populated by organisations such as registered charities, development non-governmental organisations, community groups, women’s organisations, faith-based organisations, professional associations, trades unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy groups . The definition does mention various organizations, among others NGOs, as actors through civil society speaks and acts.
NGOs that are one of the most important instruments of modern civil society have their roots in the mid-19th century and the early 20th century. Initial task of international NGOs was the restoration of the rights for women and supporting the anti-apartheid movements which are the bases of democracy. However, it was after the creation of United Nations (UN) in 1945 when NGOs, defined as any organizations that are not public, started gaining on global...

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